Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Congestion & Polution charging

The city of Milan, one of the most car-dependent in Europe, is also among the few to have introduced a road pricing measure. Unlike the well-known cases of London and Stockholm, it was concern for the levels of pollution (rather than congestion) that initially led to the introduction of the ‘Ecopass’ scheme in 2008. In the following years, public debate focused on the effectiveness of this pollution charge in reducing PM10, a pollutant with adverse health impacts. The dubious effectiveness of Ecopass in reducing PM10 levels has had two consequences: First, the scheme was upgraded to a congestion charge in 2012, following the results of a city-wide referendum in which 79.1% of voters demanded both an upgrade and an extension of the Ecopass area. This was in stark contrast with the experience of other cities, where voters have rejected charging schemes, for instance in Edinburgh or Manchester in the UK. The new city administration has recently implemented a monitoring system for Black Carbon, a new PM metric that is more suitable to prove the effectiveness of traffic restrictions. Milan therefore is the only city which can boast two types of road pricing measures, pollution charge and congestion charge. Read more here.

No comments: